New scientific discoveries have put a much different perspective on our understanding of adolescent behavior. Research now suggests that the human brain is still maturing during the adolescent years. The developing brain may help explain why adolescents sometimes make decisions that are risky and can lead to safety or health concerns, including unique vulnerabilities to drug abuse. This new science can be useful in revising prevention strategies to be more effective. The emerging science of neuro-development is providing a new framework for viewing adolescent risk-taking, including decisions by young people to use alcohol and other drugs.
Underdeveloped teen brains could lead to risky behavior | Teen Pressure Cooker
Teen Brain: Behavior, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
This is the part of the brain that responds to situations with good judgment and an awareness of long-term consequences. Teens process information with the amygdala. This is the emotional part. Discussing the consequences of their actions can help teens link impulsive thinking with facts. This helps the brain make these connections and wires the brain to make this link more often. It can help to remind them of times in the past they thought would be devastating, but turned out for the best. Become familiar with things that are important to your teens.
In adults, various parts of the brain work together to evaluate choices, make decisions and act accordingly in each situation. The teenage brain doesn't appear to work like this. For comparison's sake, think of the teenage brain as an entertainment center that hasn't been fully hooked up. There are loose wires, so that the speaker system isn't working with the DVD player, which in turn hasn't been formatted to work with the television yet. And to top it all off, the remote control hasn't even arrived!
But the brain still needs a lot of remodelling before it can function as an adult brain. Some brain changes happen before puberty, and some continue long after. Brain change depends on age, experience and hormonal changes in puberty. At the same time, other connections are strengthened.